Which do you value more: love or money? In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Pygmalion was a tired sculptor with ambitions of unfailing love. He carved a woman from ivory to his every standard of beauty and fell in love with her.
Finding no woman who could even compare, Pygmalion made offerings at the altar of Venus in hopes of finding his statue's parallel. When he returned home, he kissed her ivory lips, to find them warm. His wish had come true, and his statue had come to life.
Suppose you could sculpt the perfect companion: physically, intellectually, emotionally. And this person would love you unconditionally, never cheat on you or betray you, and you would get along so well that you couldn't imagine a more perfect connection. Now suppose you were presented with an ultimatum: your absolute soul mate or five million dollars. Which would you choose?
The Perfect Companion
If the purpose of life is to develop meaningful connections with people and to be happy, then having your dream partner could not classify more as success. And so, for you, this is the only option. After all, money should not buy happiness!
Happiness is not necessarily rooted in perfection. And taking the money doesn't preclude you from finding someone with whom you might find true love. Even if money cannot buy happiness, it in no way means that it will bring unhappiness.
With five million dollars, you not only could live more comfortably, but you could probably attract some decent companions that, although may not be perfect, should still make you reasonably happy.
There are certain hesitations about love when it comes to having money. As a millionaire, any person you meet may only be with you for your money. You might never know. And if that person is only gold digging, your love may prove inauthentic and unrewarding.
However, the money does not attract partners, it attracts potential partners. It would still be up to you to get to know them and suss out their intentions. The shiny lure brings more fish to the boat, but the fisherman still decides whether or not to keep his catch.
Any long-term and meaningful relationship should be sustained through compatibility: chemistry, mutual interests, common goals and shared values. As such, you could probably determine someone's true intentions fairly quickly. If not, then you are a fool. And as the saying goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.
Most relationships require a hook – something that initially connects two people. That hook more often than not is physical attraction. After the initial spark, two people usually look for more substantial ways to connect.
Now, if the argument is that money may only attract the wrong types, then that should also be true of beauty, since both are superficial and shallow ways to connect with someone.
But it's not wrong to connect through physical attraction, therefore it should also not be wrong to connect through money, if that is indeed the case. Both of these things do not necessarily make the subsequent love inauthentic.
If acquiring happiness is the purpose of life, then it would seem that the money would likely produce more net happiness than the perfect soul mate.
Edward Mullen | Elite.